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Team UnrealSP's mappacks: "Déjà Vu - Gryphon Revisited" & "Battle For Na Pali"

Each week a single map is discussed here in detail.

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User avatar Mister_Prophet
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Subject: Re: Team UnrealSP's mappacks: "Déjà Vu - Gryphon Revisited" & "Battle For Na Pali"

Post Posted: 26 Apr 2017, 01:38

Hellscrag wrote:
EBM and Prophet's maps diverged a lot from my (very sketchy) brief. They were meant to be part of the same location, an outdoor map with ruins leading to a more intact temple that had been converted into a Skaarj base. The small area of ruins close to the beginning of EBM's map is the only real clue to this intended continuity. And, of course, the maps were most certainly not meant to be connected by a teleporter - a mechanism I'm often not keen on and didn't like in RtNP, as it feels like it invalidates much of the player's journey (I make an exception for the teleporter that links Outpost 3J to Velora Pass, as the Sunspire is clearly visible from the landing pad so you're still in the same general area as you were before).


Just wanted to expand on this. It's been years, mind you. Pretty sure the teleporter segway came about because I couldn't make heads or tails out of how to connect our levels. EBM's maps didn't have ruins. It had bricks and pieces of stone on the floor level of huge canyon walls. I liked his level, but the teleporter made it easier for me. I think I worked it into the concept too, with Location Z-14 being a sort of "teleportation junction" between Skaarj places of interest.

I used a different skybox because I was playing UT with certain renderer settings at the time and I hated the skybox in the other levels. Some of the maps used the alternate skybox mountains with the horrid black borders. I was also sick of seeing the same generic Na Pali skybox. But then again I didn't set the textures right in my own skybox so they have seams. Guess that missed fixing when the second version was made.

I remember Willis's map because I tested it with him, though I don't remember if many of my suggestions or edits made it into the final version. I don't think they did. Though I do seem to remember a dumb debug merc I edited for testing was actually used, which was not intentional and I was surprised Willis didn't delete it (I thought I had, I guess I left it outside the level parameters). I remember testing EBM's map too, perhaps more intimately than the others. I'm pretty sure his level was the one that wrapped up the crazy minigun guy subplot.
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User avatar Hellscrag
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Subject: Re: Team UnrealSP's mappacks: "Déjà Vu - Gryphon Revisited" & "Battle For Na Pali"

Post Posted: 27 Apr 2017, 00:01

Mister_Prophet wrote:I remember testing EBM's map too, perhaps more intimately than the others. I'm pretty sure his level was the one that wrapped up the crazy minigun guy subplot.


Yes, it does. That, at least, it does quite well!

I can't really complain about the connectivity and progression, given how the whole thing was originally speedmapped in 3-4 weeks.
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Life is what you make of it.

User avatar UBerserker
Nali Priest Nali Priest
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Subject: Re: Team UnrealSP's mappacks: "Déjà Vu - Gryphon Revisited" & "Battle For Na Pali"

Post Posted: 01 May 2017, 17:02

Next TOTM (Thing Of The Month) from next Monday.
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User avatar editor Dave
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Subject: Re: Team UnrealSP's mappacks: "Déjà Vu - Gryphon Revisited" & "Battle For Na Pali"

Post Posted: 06 May 2017, 11:34

In the past three weeks or so I played through Deja Vu again (my first time must have been around 2008) and I must say it was an enjoyable ride overall, especially considering most of it was done in 4 weeks of mapping! Conceptually, I was most impressed by Temple of Novana, Triskaden Station and Fortress of K'etrith: The first and the third because they allowed extended exploration without the need to visit everything, the second because all the rooms were tied together in a meaningful way. Unfortunately, the connection level "Entry to Triskaden" was in that regard one of the worst. The real entrance to Triskaden felt totally random (even though in the previous map it would feel logicall) and it doesn't make any sense that killing the Giant Stonebeast would deactivate a Skaarj forcefield - or at least I expected a giant earthquake that would lead your way "by chance" to the nearby station.

In terms of direction, I wonder: was it planned from the beginning that Location Z-14 would teleport you into The Source? I kind of liked revisiting the place and the boss fight itself and all, but this, too, fel a bit abitrary. Sure, you can say Location Z-14 is some kind of teleportation hub for important places, but it was never mentioned before Kra'Filnish valley. I think if your objective became clearer over the course of the game (maybe mention it in the Temple of Somana map, or the other SKaarj outposts later on), reaching your final destination would have had a bigger impact. Maybe I missed some, correct me on anything if I did. ^^

However, and that is why I mentioned the above, I liked that translator messages throughout many maps would refer to different locales you visited or would visit later. I guess this was only featured in the second version and it certainly made the pack feel more as one, even though it is obvious (well at least now, with more mapping experience) that the visual qualities of the maps differ by quite a lot. Speaking of that, I think the older map by map review doesn't do this aspect enough justice, with all their scores only ranging from 6 to 9. I think ThickAsABrick & ZBREAKER2001 could've expanded them by at least one point in both directions (so 5 to 10), to really make the differences more clearly (as I would expect from such an unusual review).

First, I was a little overwhelmed by the sudden rise of difficulty in Palace of Chizra, but actually, that was more like my jam (well, Unforchers is kinda hard as well, I guess :p)
The Unforchers will come again soon...

User avatar SteadZ
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Subject: Re: Team UnrealSP's mappacks: "Déjà Vu - Gryphon Revisited" & "Battle For Na Pali"

Post Posted: 07 May 2017, 01:04

I know I'm a bit late to the party but hey-ho.

Was recently replaying Deja Vu and happened to notice something in Zynthetic's map:

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An intentional foreshadowing? :P

Also found a couple of images Hellscrag left out in my archives...
► Show Spoiler


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SZ
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User avatar UBerserker
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Subject: Re: Team UnrealSP's mappacks: "Déjà Vu - Gryphon Revisited" & "Battle For Na Pali"

Post Posted: 08 May 2017, 12:44

N3utron's Oasis concept feels like the level was going to be a new Sunspire of sorts? It really looks like a desert Sunspire.

editor Dave wrote:In terms of direction, I wonder: was it planned from the beginning that Location Z-14 would teleport you into The Source?


Yeah this is one of the least discussed things about DV2 as a whole - how come we are suddenly back into the Source; first time I played I was completely surprised. Pretty sure it was something done at the last second like most of the mappack - it had to end with something Skaarj/Queen for the sake of Unrealism.

New thread tonight hopefully.
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